I want to install KDE on my Linux Mint Debian Edition (which as of 10 June 2012 corresponds with Debian Wheezy). I already have Cinnamon (a Gnome Shell fork) installed, which has regular Gnome 3 dependencies. Last time I tried to install KDE through aptitude, sound stopped working. Other people also mention problems, see: kde install destroys gnome desktop.

Is it safe to install KDE along with Gnome 3? What are the possible breakages after KDE installation and how should I solve them? What is the recommended way to install KDE on Debian Wheezy?

Edit: I just did it and everything went well. In Debian, to install KDE, just install everything in an aptitude task called "kde-desktop".

Related question: Is is possible to use KDE as well as Gnome on a machine?

  • I think you should just do it. If so, take note of which packages you are installing, so you can purge them later should they cause trouble.
    – tshepang
    Jun 10, 2012 at 20:39
  • If installing an applications impact funcionality of other already installed application, I think you should change your distribution :D
    – jirib
    Jun 11, 2012 at 15:58
  • @JiriXichtkniha or file a good bug report? Temporary problems like this happen all the time, especially in development suites.
    – tshepang
    Jun 12, 2012 at 21:23
  • Even more, it's possible to have both running at the same time in different sessions. Dec 26, 2012 at 23:07

3 Answers 3


It is entirely safe to install as many window managers as you want. They simply take up disk space, which is very cheap nowadays. And this software never takes as much space as your data, so it is not an issue.

Not only you can switch an existing Ubuntu system to Kubuntu by doing

apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

but you can also simply install the few packages you want. You can also run KDE packages under Gnome, Unity, Enlightenment and vice-versa.

They are just apps using specific libs, there is no restriction on what you run. It will look more uniform if you stick with one family of apps and it will "cost" you a little more RAM if you run apps using several different libraries. but it does not matter as much as one could think.

Try all of the apps you can. Choose the one you prefer, and run them in your favorite environment. This is what Linux is all about; choice and enjoyment of that choice.

You can also run a very minimalist KDE-like Desktop by running

kwin & plasma-desktop & krunner &

Everything is optional.

  • 1
    I disagree with this based on my own experience. Just installed multiple desktop environments on Fedora 32 and tried them out. When I switched back to Gnome (after rebooting) the Gnome environment was not working properly anymore (copy/paste did not work, window background colors where changed, fonts in applications were different).
    – simon
    Jul 11, 2020 at 14:12

I'm running a Kubuntu installation that I've added Ubuntu to later. Unity gave me some issues at first, mainly because of packages not installed, but KDE was unaffected except for a couple of new menu entries.

I'm not sure if there are any KDE meta packages available for Wheezy, but your best bet would be to install one of those. On Kubuntu I installed only the Unity package but that left me with no themes or icons, after installing the ubuntu-desktop meta package, things looked a lot better.


Yes. I have Fedora 16 with Gnome and KDE. I use KDE 99% of the time but need to go to Gnome periodically because some apps have bugs running certain scenarios in KDE, notably Eclipse trying to create a new workspace. For that I need to go to Gnome, once finished, go back to KDE.

As was said before, you can install as many window managers as you wish.

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